Liverpool: Mayoral candidate to sue police for flying rainbow flag

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A man who recently lost a bid to be Liverpool’s mayor has said he will sue the city’s police force for flying the rainbow flag for IDAHO.

In May, Paul Rimmer, the English Democrat candidate for mayor, was arrested and bailed after entering a Toxteth police station and complaining to an officer about the gay emblem, quoting anti-gay verses from Leviticus.

The police station was one of 50 local businesses and organisations which made a visual statement for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Liverpool.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Mr Rimmer will now sue the Merseyside police force, claiming it should have had planning permission for the flag under the Town and Country Planning Act.

Mr Rimmer alleges that it may have been discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010’s protections against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

He told the Echo: “The police are supposed to represent all sections of society and not discriminate in favour of particular groups.”

Paul Brant, deputy council leader, said it was a “bonkers” view, saying the police “should be praised for their impulsivity”.

Councillor Steve Radford, who leads the Liberal Democrats group, said the failed mayoral candidate’s allegations were “bigoted fantasy”.

He added: “Flying the IDAHO flag above police stations shows a substantial change in the police, which should be celebrated.”

Police were unable to comment except to confirm the notice of an intended prosecution, and the council confirmed it was not taking action. A council spokesman said: “We take a sensible and measured view of the flying of temporary flags.

“In this instance, a well-known symbol was being displayed for a limited period of time at Admiral Street police station – and also at a number of other public buildings in the city – which we are able to permit.”

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